Wednesday, January 24, 2007

We're Half Way

We are right about in the middle of our school year. I think it's perfect that the baby is due right at the end of our school year, that will give us 3 months to adjust to another family member before we start again after Labor Day. I didn't realize how far we have come this year until I looked back at what we were doing in the beginning. The hardest patch was my first trimester, when my irritability level is so high.

Right now my biggest frustration is Isaac's lack of interest in reading. He can read just fine when he has to for school, however, he shows no interest in any other time. I think it might be because he still struggles with reading comprehension. He can read the words, but he isn't really paying attention to what they are saying. I'm hoping that once his comprehension improves, he will realize how fun reading can be.

This surprises even me, but the part I enjoy the most is math. I'm so happy with the Math-U-See curriculum. Math was never my strong area, so that is probably why I love to see Isaac grasp concepts here and those little "lightbulb moments". Since English and Reading are my strong area, maybe that is why I find his lack of interest in reading particularly frustrating.

My friend just gave me a book that lists the skills your child should know for each grade level, and I think we are pretty much right where we should be. Although, I would love to hear anybody else's thoughts or experience about less than enthusiastic readers.


Blogger Genevieve said...

My sister used to be a less than enthusiastic reader, and now she reads all the time. It turns out she had a learning disability that made reading very difficult. So, she worked with a specialist on this, and my parents encouraged her to read for fun. (something they never had to encourage me to do!) They did this by letting her chose one book at the store (or the library, wherever) that she was REALLY interested in. Maybe it was about vampires or something. Then she would read a chapter a night with my dad. (sometimes out loud, sometimes just with him sitting with her in case she got stuck)

I've heard that with reluctant readers, the most important thing is to make sure they are reading something they like. Maybe that's graphic novels or comic books (probably for kids older than Isaac) or something that's not a traditional "book" but is still reading. Maybe start with the Sunday comic pages or something? Those can be fun.

Good luck!

12:58 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

Tucker is less than enthusiastic about reading which irks me because I LOVE to read. I ordered him Disney and Nickelodeon magazines and he's been reading more! Luckily, Tanner has such a love for books already!

1:04 PM  
Blogger anna said...

My daughter used to be a very unethusiastic reader and we started paying her a penny for every page over 100 pages she read(ie. she got $1.01 for a 101 page book but nothing for a 100 page book) You could start small like a 20 page book and work up. It really motivated her to read. We finally had to stop paying after she was reading 300 page books in one day! I also agree wtih the concept of letting them read what they like to begin with. My daughter now reads classic authors like Louis May Alcott, and Charolette Bronte, as well as newer fiction stories. She's 11 and reads at about a college level. I can't believe she used to not like reading for fun. Now we have to take her books away from her in order to get anything else productive out of her.

2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have a programme over here (Australia) where Father's are invited into schools each week to regularly read to and with boys, and they said that the improvement in the reading level of boys has been remarkable. Maybe your husband does this already with your children. Also, I think it helps if children see their parents reading (especially Dads' in the case of encouraging boys), and Mem Fox, a prominent Australian children's author (Google her - she's great! "Reading Magic" gives great insight into encouraging children to read) recommends that children particularly see loads of books around the house, on their parents bedside table - even if they're not read!!

I hope you enjoy the rest of your pregnancy, and the fact that you can gather together pink things and the like!!! Take care, Naomi (mother of Elijah & Samuel!!)

6:14 PM  
Blogger Lindsay said...

I know that comic books aren't real "literature", but they are wonderful for getting boys to read. In addition, the pictures help them comprehend what is going on.

Have you tried non-fiction? Boys tend to be more drawn to books about things (dinosaurs, trucks, sports) rather than stories.

Also- work on getting him to predict what he thinks will happen next, ask questions or wonder things about the story (Is his mom mad at him?), and have him draw pictures about what he's read.

9:27 PM  
Blogger Princess Ruby said...

I'm sure his reading will come with time. Boys often seem to be better at math than reading. I am really going to have to switch to Math U See. Poor Hannah is having the hardest time at math lately and I'm running out of ideas!

10:32 AM  
Blogger Risa said...

Luke has been awful to get to do any school work lately and only distracts his sister from getting her work done too! But we have found some Ricky Ricotta books by Martin Ontiveros at the library that he just loves! I was thrilled today to hear him say that he LIKES reading! The books are very easy with a few big words that he really only needed to be helped with a couple of times before he memorized them, like "The Mutant Mosquitoes From Mercury". The big words are repeated several times in the book and it makes reading them pretty easy by the end and Luke is pretty proud of his accomplishment when he finishes. Yesterday he just kept reading even after he required pages were over! Don't worry, he will come around! :)

And that was a great idea about the Dad reading with the boys! I might try to get Bob to read with Luke sometime today. Thanks, Australia! :)

11:30 AM  
Blogger Risa said...

Oh, and Jozie likes the Junie B. Jones books by Barbra Park. They are cute and easy too, the only thing I don't like is that she writes the way a kindergartener would think and talk and doesn't always use "proper" English or words. I'm always trying to correct my kids speech and now, here they are letting her think that since it's in a book it must be okay! But, since she is actually asking to read them together, I have overlooked my petty qualms about it and just reminded her that the little girl is still a little girl and doesn't know how to talk right yet.

11:35 AM  
Blogger Princess Ruby said...

I tagged ya!

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My two oldest loved being read to and as soon as they could do it at all, they loved reading to themselves. Keith liked to be read to, but once it was time for him to read on his own, he just wasn't interested. I hate to admit it, but the Professor Poopypants books did it for him (I guess he was 8 or 9). He would sit in his room reading and giggling his head off. He's nearly 12 now and loves to read, and is well above his "level" in school. I guess he just needed the right motivation, lol.

8:05 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Hey, would you pretty please email me the Kinder and 1st grade what they should know in Math?
:) :)

1:11 PM  

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